One Illinois County is About to Give Some Residents $500 a Month
It's a trial program for what some want to see become a permanent fixture in American life. One Illinois county is about to begin giving some residents $500 a month in guaranteed income to see if this will begin to eliminate poverty.
CBS News is reporting that Cook County, Illinois is now taking applications for a pilot program where the county will deposit $500 per month into over 3,250 accounts to guarantee income. They say to qualify a resident must have had "a household income at or below 250% of the federal poverty level for two years". According to the report, that would mean more than 1 in 3 in Cook County, Illinois would be eligible.
The program is called the Cook County Promise Program. The report is that applications will be accepted until October 21, 2022.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill did a study looking at the pros and cons of a guaranteed income system. The positives aspects that were reported were less income volatility for residents and even in some cases better health due to less stress.
The negative concerns involve whether this will discourage residents from participating in the work force if income is guaranteed. Some businesses believe this will make the current situation with a shallow available workforce even worse.
The funds for the Cook County guaranteed income program will come from the federal government's American Rescue Plan Act. If the pilot program is successful, it's possible more Illinois counties could begin their own programs. There's no doubt it will not stop being controversial no matter what the outcome is.